- Procter & Gamble (P&G) has purchased the purpose-driven feminine care products maker This Is L., according to a company news release. Terms of the deal are confidential, a P&G spokesperson told Marketing Dive over email.
- This Is L., which makes the popular L. brand of tampons, pads, liners and wipes that are made with organic cotton, donates to causes that improve girls and women's access to feminine care products with every purchase. This is L. has previously provided period products to Native American communities in South Dakota and pad-making machines to women-run businesses in Tamil Nadu, India, founder and CEO Talia Frenkel said in a statement.
- Along with its L.-branded feminine care offerings, This is L. produces a line of condoms that are sold in some Whole Foods, Target and CVS stores, according to Y Combinator. When asked whether the condoms were included as part of the deal, the P&G spokesperson told Marketing Dive that "P&G has acquired the entire company and we will continue to serve their consumers."
P&G is positioning the This Is L. purchase as means of furthering its commitments to supporting girls and women and also its existing feminine care offerings. This Is L.'s caused-based donation model fits in with P&G's broader push to center more of its business around purpose as consumers increasingly demand that brands stand for something beyond products, including social and political issues.
"This acquisition is a perfect complement to our Always and Tampax portfolio, with its commitment to a shared mission to advocate for girls' confidence and serve more women," Jennifer Davis, president of P&G's Global Feminine Care unit, said in a statement. "We feel this is a strong union and together we can be a greater force for good."
Beyond the purpose-driven angle of the deal, P&G is likely looking to tap into the disruption This Is L. has caused in the feminine care category. A focus on products made with organic materials has previously helped This Is L. snap up more of the market dominated by brands like Always and Tampax, whose ingredients are increasingly scrutinized, according to an article in the Financial Times. At first, L. products were exclusively sold online, but have in recent years moved into big-box retailers like Target, where they've flown off shelves, Frenkel told the Times last year.
P&G moving to purchase This Is L. now reflects the CPG giant's growing strategy of snapping up startup and disruptor businesses, even as it tries to foster more direct-to-consumer services in-house for old guard lines like Gillette. Unilever was one of the first legacy marketers to make such a move when it purchased Dollar Shave Club for $1 billion in 2016, but the tactic has only become more popular since then.
Late last year, P&G purchased Walker & Company, a DTC marketer that creates grooming and haircare brands targeted at consumers of color, such as Bevel and Form. Similar to This Is L., Walker & Company had a presence in some major retail stores, including Target, prior to P&G's acquisition.